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I was wondering if they’d go for the mess that is Clearview Cinemas. They currently don’t operate cinemas in NJ and only have one way out in South/West NY. That would be bad in that Carmike doesn’t really have a serious commitment to art films (Clearview does, all be it with awful presentation) – and I believe they may have a policy against showing unrated and NC-17 films.
Otherwise it should be noted the theaters Carmike is buying from Rave were owned by “Rave Reviews” – the former parent company and owner of the “Rave Motion Pictures” brand. When “Rave Cinemas” was formed through refinancing (which led to the expansion via acquiring half of National Amusements) – they bought a few sites and left these 16 with their parent company. Rave Cinemas was managing these sites.
It should be interesting in certain markets: Leigh Valley has a Rave (in an upscale shopping district) and a Carmike (by the airport) – – the Carmike isn’t well regarded (it’s a bit dated) – – should be interesting to see what happens there.
And here’s where I must disclose I own a small amount of stock in Carmike. The analysis in the theatre sectors points to further consolidation of regional operators, and its unclear if Carmike will be consolidated into one of the larger players or become one. The stock is considered undervalued by some analysts – along with the believe that Regal is as well (they also thing that spike two weeks ago in Regal Stock was related to some speculation that RGC might be acquired by private equity now that they are finally profitable).
Longterm I’m wondering if the US evolve into what Canada has – two major chains (Cinplex and Empire), a smaller one with a focus on discount operations (Rainbow/Magic Lantern), a strong regional exhibitor in QB (Guzzo), and very few independent chains/operators. (and one AMC just left there – – actually in the US that exists now, Hoyts has two sites still operating)
We had gotten lost trying to find it many years ago upon visiting Tampa for the day – I believe it had opened as an art house in addition to its IMAX theatre.
Markp – they did call to apologize today after I submitted a feedback form that appeared in my email this morning. A GM or DM offered free passes (something the manager did not do for those 6 folks that hung around to complain about the light on last night).
I refused to take them up on the offer, telling him that Clearview should be ashamed at their presentation standards circuit-wide – – especially at Kin-Mall and Montclair. I really do hope they are sold to a good exhibitor (in a perfect world they’d be split amongst several good exhibitors whose business models fit each property). Digital in some respects may fix these issues, if they mount a projector and go “boothless” in a few auditoriums that have issues, they can fix the awful keystoning.
Awful experience at The Ziegfeld tonight – perhaps the reason its loosing money is Clearview is an awful operator. I want to like the chain – they and AMC own virtually every theater in NJ, but they make it so impossible with their awful attention to presentation. Tonight a blue anti-piracy light was shinning on the audience every two-minutes we were blinded for half a second, which management claimed to be a malfunctioning device that sat above stage right.
Can other folks involved in exhibition chime in – is this a normal thing, every 2 minutes? (Often Clearview has no idea what they are talking about, if a film is out of frame the staff will insult me by saying “the film was sent to us that way” or “we can’t change that, sorry”).
Uhhhhh – – I wish a really good exhibitor will take them over (National Amusements, Dipson, Kerasotes, Alamo Drafthouse —– please each take whichever site is suited to your business model away from this miserable chain!)
I saw The Master tonight in 70MM and wish I could say it was an excellent screening – – leave it to Clearview to screw up the premiere movie house in NYC.
They have an anti-piracy system that had malfunctioned, it essentially is a blue searchlight that sits atop the screen, stage right that scans theatre for anyone cam-cordering the film EVERY 2 MINUTES. So every two minutes I was taken out of the immersive experience of 70MM with a blue light in my face for a few seconds. According the manager it was a malfunctioning system, but still – WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS. How often does it shine a blue light in the audience (and it projected it up to the top levels of back of the theatre, like a search light) when it functions correctly. Once is even too often.
Way to prevent piracy – by making the full price experience unwatchable. I will be writing a letter to Clearview’s corporate office and sending a copy to the MPAA.
This venue sounds great, much like the Violet Crown in Austin which works really well within the Second Ave district, not sure if it’ll work as brilliantly in Hartford but it does make sense. There is no movie-going options in the city (apart from the occasional screenings at Wadsworth). I do very much like the way Violet Crown is programed, often with hip upscale movies (like Celeste & Jesse Forever) and I think thats a nitche that can give it an advantage over Art @ Cinema City and what was in the planning stages intended as an art house in Blue Back Square.
Programing for the community is key – I imagine if they replicate with great programing both on screen and live entertainment in the lounge they can build an audience of young professionals and folks on date night and it’ll be a cool place. Hartford could use that kind of venue. If they program it with multiplex crap you can see at Buckland Hills it will suck.
@ Hammer – the upstairs theaters were gutted back in 2005 (the whole building was closed for a few months while they built two new screens). I don’t see any evidence, with the refacing it looks like a normal modern multiplex. (inside it still has issues including sound bleeding from auditorium to auditorium, unless its been corrected in the last 5 years).
These news stories are all like a month behind….
One of 16 theaters Rave Cinemas operated on behalf of its former parent company Rave Reviews Cinemas, and was included in the sale to Carmike.
It’s actually 18 screens now – – two were added before Rave took it over (right around the time East Hartford and East Windsor shut down).
I still have no clue who’d want to buy Clearview Cinemas which is a mixed bag with several decent multiplexes and many more that were cheaply constructed, lack stadium seating – oh, and will have to be upgraded to digital – – like really soon. Interestingly when I was home last in NJ, two theaters I visited The Clairidge (Montclair) and Sunshine (NYC, run by Landmark Theaters) both showed first run films in 35MM. In Buffalo, NY – – a city otherwise a good 20-30 years behind the times culturally, our two main art houses (Amherst and Eastern Hills, run by Dipson) just went 100% digital.
Currently closed – – however they’ll be getting an IMAX screen (not sure if its a retrofit with stadium seating or a new addition…)
There’s a reason not to eat the popcorn. It is a small business running on very tight margins and I’m not sure if they’ll convert to digital (they were asking folks on their Facebook page to vote for Movieland for a $250,000 small business grant). It looks Movieland, Market Arcade and North Park will be the last to go digital, if at all.
Officially closed. So it looks like the strategy Crown Theatres once had for building these sites failed – – http://www.specialtyretail.net/issues/nov98/CROWN.adding%20gems%20to%20the%20crown.htm (consider the level of underperformers they’ve had including three failed multiplexes – Neonopolis, Block E and Abacore) – – I believe this one closed because they had a deal that essentially allowed them to not pay rent as long as they made under a certain number, no wonder AMC wanted to stick around.
Indeed – was down on Grand a few weeks and it looks close to being ready – the structure was build with work moving along inside. Great neighborhood for it (although the theater itself does look at a tad out of place/too modern)
AND it’s still on the AMC website: http://go.amctheatres.com/canadian-theatres
It still looks like its in tact: the lobby is somewhat open to the public (the theaters I imagine are behind a hallway that’s locked. I spent the summer working at UT Austin and had walked through the mall a few times, it’s was pretty dead (then again it was the summer) with a stores appealing to mostly students. I’m wondering if SXSW will call upon the Dobie to provide the space they’ll be losing down at the Alamo South.
Getting 3 new screens and a new lobby as part of the plaza redevelopment, slated to close in January for much of 2013 (this may present a problem the rapidly growing SXSW – which grew to include 2 screens at the tiny Violet Crown last year, now it’ll be down 3 screens with not much room at the convention center). Maybe The Dobbie (which looks to still be in tact) can serve as a temporary venue…
I agree with Tim O'Neill – – reopen the place except for Auditorium #9 which should be a memorial to July 20.
THIS actually isn’t a picture of this theatre. This is another Cinema Suites location. You really cannot trust what Jeterga is posting here.
Cinemark does – all be it with large screens, stadium seating, and no masking – a scope movie was shown on a flat screen at their brand new Stroud Mall because as their manager calmed “most movies aren’t made in scope anymore”. (I hope this isn’t what their “NextGen” is all about it, it makes premiere theaters look cheap).
I have no doubt Alamo will do an excellent job on the preservation end – I personally think The Ritz in Austin is first rate (although it was probably an empty shell when they got to it) – but it’s a classy looking joint. It’s refreshing to have a company run by movie fans with excellent tastes and instincts – verses MBAs who manage every complex with a once size-fits all attitude.
Boy this is still a popular theater underscoring the need for more discount theaters, but while they clean between shows – I feel like more important issues are largely ignored (like repairing wear and tare, painting, etc). Today the air conditioning was out in the 3 big theaters to the left of the concessions. The musty odor virtually makes it impossible for me to get through a show there – not to mention the humming sound and underlit projection. I’d say you get what you pay for but I’d say you get even less. Dipson owns several theaters of this vintage and guess what – they do the little things to keep them in good shape, Eastern Hills is equally as old and its both spotless and well maintained. With that said it appears Dipson is moving ahead and keeping pace with digital conversion (AMC and Regal in town I believe are all digital now) – with Amherst, Eastern Hills and McKinley almost at 100%. I’m not sure MovieLand and Market Arcade will make it once film prints become unavailable (although who knows – maybe the owners of this place are saving up to go digital by not taking care of the physical building). It’s a shame because people are very loyal to this theatre – perhaps another operator who specializes in discount movie theaters (PictureShow or StarPlex) could do better as they’ve also mostly converted their discount operations to digital.
Taking a look at pictures from the neighborhood it looks comparable to the Alamo South Lamar, I imagine it’ll be programed accordingly. (Lamar is all digital, excellent presentation – with a few 35MM in place, they have a few special events but The Ritz, 1 ½ miles away runs events every night). They consider the Lamar location to be a bit more “family friendly” – and the Alamo is most of the time (not of coarse during Terror Tuesdays or Weird Wednesdays).
Think of the Alamo as a cross between the best movie theatre you’ve ever been to and The Cheesecake Factory (in that they have a huge menu, and it’s all fresh and delicious). They care about the presentation and movie selection – as well as having a world class beer and cocktail selection – and they have lines around the block because seeing a film there is just more fun than seeing it elsewhere. (I just returned from 3 weeks in Austin and every time I go to my local, and very good theatre chain, Dipson – I’m slightly pissed someone won’t bring me freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with a scoop of ice cream – 90 minutes into the movie – – the Alamo has spoiled me on other theaters). I can’t wait for Alamo to come to NYC so I can take my friends and show them just how awful AMC’s Dine In Theaters are.
So what’s the deal with it, it’s listed as a “distressed” property that was in operation for a very short period of time. What is distressed about it? Is it DCI compliant? (I assume so but in Buffalo we have two small “micro-cinemas” that show movies off BluRay DVDs). And they have laser tag?!?! Looks like a fun place.